A young woman is searching on Oahu to find the grandmother she's never met. Tara Lyman-Dobson has traveled thousands of miles and has narrowed her search to the Kamehameha Shopping Center here on Oahu.
Tara hadn't even seen a photo of her grandmother until coming across a mug shot from from the Honolulu Police Department. While in most cases, seeing that someone in your family has been arrested wouldn't paint a pretty picture, Tara's case is different.
"It was a little bit like a jolt when I first saw that picture because I had no idea what she looked like at all," said Lyman-Dobson.
Tara traveled to Honolulu from Wilmington, North Carolina. She lives nearly 5,000 miles away from Hawaii. Her grandmother is also from North Carolina, but a while back, her granny moved away and left her family wondering where she went.
"All we had was a name to go on, we didn't even know when she was born," said Lyman-Dobson.
Even without knowing where her grandmother was living, Tara set aside her college summer classes and her job to find an answer. A clue turned up earlier this year as Tara found out her grandmother is homeless in Hawaii.
It pains Tara to talk about her family's situation but that's the sole reason she's fighting to find her grandma. Tara's birth mother is mentally ill and unable to hold a conversation. Tara's hoping her grandmother can help her realize why.
"My mother has deeply ingrained issues from her childhood and if she can answer any of those questions then maybe we could break through to her," said Lyman-Dobson.
A break through came in the search happened Tuesday afternoon. After just one day of searching in Hawaii, several leads pointed to the Tara's grandma being sighted at the Kamehameha Shopping Center. The most recent sighting just was said to have been on Monday. With Tara on the right track, she's finding her emotions creeping up.
"It's a lot of fear and a lot of nervousness. I'm anxious to find her but I'm also scared," Lyman-Dobson.
Remember, Tara has never met her grandmother. She doesn't even know if her granny wants to be found.
"I just think anyone in her situation deserves some kind of family, some kind of love," said Lyman-Dobson.
If you've seen Tara's Grandma or know where she could be you're asked to call 818-262-2343.